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Volunteers, Students Come Together In Food For Kids Backpack Program

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Students look forward to getting their backpacks filled from the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Students look forward to getting their backpacks filled from the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
The food is tucked away in the students' lockers every Friday. The food is tucked away in the students' lockers every Friday.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Come by the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma any Wednesday, and you'll find Becky Bagby hard at work. She has volunteered there every Wednesday for the past four years.

"I love volunteering with kids," Bagby said.

A friend introduced Becky to the Food for Kids Program, and she began delivering backpacks to a couple of local elementary schools. Then her daughter, an autism teacher at Tulsa's Marshall Elementary School, put in her own delivery request for that school.

"She asked if I would be interested in doing that, and I said sure," Bagby said.

"There is a lot of need there. I pretty well fill the van when I load up," she said.

That was two years ago, and Marshall has been in Becky's heart - and on her route, ever since.

"When I get there, a lot of times the kids are excited. 'Oh, it's backpack day,'" she said "They're excited to see me coming and get the food."

So excited, they even volunteer to help.

"Issiah's been helping us all year, and he's getting really good at it," said teacher Angela Bagby, Becky's daughter.

Unloading the food, about 130 bags a week, is no small effort. But teachers and administrators here agree, it's more than worth it.

"If you've never known what it feels like to not know where food's coming from or to have that growl in your belly from hunger, then consider yourself fortunate because many of our students do know what that feels like," said Pam Lee, Community School Coordinator.

The food is tucked away in the students' lockers every Friday. A little boost to get them through the weekend. And at Marshall, like many Tulsa schools, the need is growing.

"We get requests each week from students to be added to the list of kids receiving food," Lee said.

That's right. The students request it themselves.

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